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His birth, his physical description, his family and his wives

continued from ... His name, lineage, kunyah and titles

His birth and his physical description


Scholars agree that Abu Bakr was born after the Year of the Elephant the year during which Abraha marched towards Makkah with his army which means that he was younger than the Prophet . Beyond that general agreement, scholars disagree about the exact date of his birth. Some scholars maintain that he was born three years after the Year of the Elephant; others believe that he was born two years and six months after the Year of the Elephant; and yet others say that he was bo rn two years and some months after the Year of the Elephant. 1 Born and raised in a house of noble lineage, Abu Bakr was blessed with a very respectful upbringing; from a very young age, he gained the honour and the respect of his people. 2 As for his physical attributes, he was white-skinned and skinny; some historians have related narrations which indicate that the white colour of his skin was mixed with shades of yellow. His beard did not grow very long on his cheeks, and his back leaned forward to a certain degree. Because of his physical make-up his skinniness his lower garment would not stay in place, but would instead barely remain in place at the level of his hips. His face was gaunt, and while his forehead protruded outwards, his eye-sockets were deeply set in his face. And whereas his calves were skinny, his legs were muscular though lean. And after his hair turned white, he would dye it with henna and Al-Katm (a kind of shrub that was used for dyeing and that was very similar to henna). 3

His family
Abu Bakr's father was 'Uthman ibn 'Aamir ibn 'Amr, and his Kunyah by which he was most famously known was Abu Quhaafah . Abu Quhaafah embraced Islam on the day of the Makkah Conquest. By
1 2 3

Seerah Wa-Hayaat As-Siddeeq, by Majdee Fathee As-Sayyid (pg. 29); and Taareekh AI-Khulafaa (pg. 56). Taareekh. Ad-Da'wah Ilal-Islam Fee 'Ahd AI-Khulafaa Ar-Raashideen (pg. 30). Bukhaaree (5895) and Muslim (2341) and Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq , by Majdee As-Sayyid (pg. 32).

His birth, his physical description, his family and his wives
the time the Prophet returned triumphantly to Makkah, Abu Quhaafah had become a very old man. When Abu Bakr took his father to the Messenger of Allah in order to announce his entry into the fold of Islam, the Messenger of Allah said, O Abu Bakr, should you not have left him where he was, so that I could have went to visit him. Abu Bakr said, O Messenger of Allah ,he has a greater duty to come to you. As we can clearly see from this narration, to honour the elderly was the way of the Prophet ; and on another occasion, the Prophet said, He who does not honour the elderly among us and does not show mercy to the young among us, is not from us. 4 Abu Quhaafah then officially announced his entry into the fold of Islam and made a pledge to follow the Messenger of Allah 5.It is related that the Messenger of Allah congratulated Abu Bakr for his father's entry into the fold of Islam and that he said to Abu Bakr , Change this (whiteness) in his hair (to another colour). At the time, Abu Quhaafah's hair was compared to a Thughaamah a white plant that was then commonly compared to the whiteness in a persons hair. 6 As for the mother of Abu Bakr , her full name was Salmah bint Sakhr ibn 'Amr ibn Ka'ab ibn Sa'ad ibn Teem, and her Kunyah was Umm Al-Khair. She embraced Islam during the earlier stages of the Prophet's Da'wah, a topic that we will (In Sha Allah) discuss in more detail in a later section of this work. Throughout his life, Abu Bakr had a total of four wives, who bore for him six children: three sons and three daughters. The following were his wives: 1) Qateelah bint 'Abdul-'Uzzah ibn As'ad ibn Jaabir ibn Maalik That Qateelah embraced Islam is not a point of agreement among scholars 7, the main reason for that disagreement being that Abu Bakr had divorced her during the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. Qateelah was the mother of two of Abu Bakr's children: 'Abdullah and Asmaa . Although Qateelah did not migrate to Al-Madeenah, she did go there to
4 5 6 7

At-Tirmidhee, the Book of Birr, chapter 15. Al-Isaabah (4/375). Al-Isaabah (4/375). At-Tabaqaat, by Ibn Sa'ad (3/169), (8/249).

His birth, his physical description, his family and his wives
visit her daughter, Asmaa. She brought with her gifts, some cream and cooking fat, but Asmaa refused not only to accept them for her, but also to grant her entry into her home. Asmaa felt conflicted on the inside: on the one hand, she was a Muslim and her mother was a polytheist; and on the other hand, her mother had given her birth, raised her, and showered a great deal of love upon her. As a polytheist, she was not deserving of Asmaa's respect and love; but as a mother, she had every right to be loved and respected. Confused and uneasy about the matter, Asmaa sent a message to 'Aaisha , requesting her to ask the Prophet about her situation. The Prophet gave this reply: She (i.e., Asmaa) must grant her entry (into her home), and she must also accept her gift. And around the same time, Allah revealed the Verse:

Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. (60:8)

This Verse confirmed for believers that Allah did not forbid them from being kind and generous in their dealings towards polytheists who had not persecuted them; furthermore, believers were informed that they should act justly with them, for indeed, Allah loves those who deal with equity. 2) Umm Roomaan bint 'Aamir ibn 'Uwaimar Umm Roomaan was from the Banu Kinaanah ibn Khuzaimah tribe; her husband, Al-Haarith ibn Sakhbarah, died in Makkah, after which time Abu Bakr married her. She was one of the early Muslims: she pledged to follow the Prophet at an early stage during his Da'wah, and she had the distinction of having migrated to Al-Madeenah. She gave birth to two of Abu Bakr's children: 'Abdur-Rahmaan and

His birth, his physical description, his family and his wives
'Aaisha . Having lived a fruitful and blessed life, Umm Roomaan died in Al-Madeenah in the year 6 H. 3) Asmaa bint 'Umais ibn Ma'bad ibn Al-Haarith Asmaa's Kunyah was Umm 'Abdullah, which perhaps refers to child she had with Ja'far . One of the first Muslims to perform migration for the sake of Allah , Asmaa embraced Islam at a very early stage of the Prophet's Da'wah, even before the Muslims turned the house of Al-Arqam into a secret meeting place. She pledged to follow the Messenger of Allah ,and then because of the persecution that she and her husband Ja'far ibn Abu Taalib were afflicted with at the hands of the Quraish, they both migrated to Abyssinia. At the behest of the Prophet , they stayed in Abyssinia for a number of years. Then, just before the conquest of Khaibar, the Prophet sent word to them that they should return, and they performed migration for a second time this time, from Abyssinia to AlMadeenah. Shortly thereafter, Ja'far was martyred on the Day of Mo'tah. Abu Bakr then married her, and she later gave birth to one of his sons: Muhammad. Asmaa made important contributions towards the preservation of the Prophet's Sunnah: She memorized sayings of the Prophet and then passed them on to others. Among the Companions who related narrations from her were 'Umar , Abu Moosa ' , Abdullah ibn 'Abbaas , and Umm Al-Fadl (the wife of Al-'Abbaas) . One of things Asmaa could be proud of was the fact that she had such noble in-laws, such as the Messenger of Allah , Hamzah , and Al-'Abbaas . 4) Habeebah bint Khaarijah ibn Zaid ibn Abu Zuhair Habeebah was a member of the Ansaar, and more specifically, she was a member of the Khazraj tribe. It was shortly after Abu Bakr , died that Habeebah gave birth to the last of his daughters, Umm Kulthoom . Abu Bakr lived with Habeebah in AsSunh, a district in Al-Madeenah that was inhabited by the Banu Al-Haarith clan of the Khazraj tribe.